[ ih-kahy-nuh s ]
/ ɪˈkaɪ nəs /

noun, plural e·chi·ni [ih-kahy-nahy] /ɪˈkaɪ naɪ/.

any sea urchin of the genus Echinus.
  1. an ovolo molding, especially one having an outline with several radii or one carved with an egg-and-dart pattern.
  2. the prominent circular molding supporting the abacus of a Doric or Tuscan capital.
  3. Also called cymatium. the circular molding, usually carved with an egg-and-dart pattern, forming part of an Ionic capital between the volutes and under the balteus.

Origin of echinus

1325–75; Middle English < Latin < Greek echînos hedgehog, sea urchin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for echini

  • Also, batoons of St. Paul, the fossil spines of echini, found in Malta and elsewhere.

    The Sailor's Word-Book|William Henry Smyth
  • In the same stone the claws of crabs, fragments of echini, and other signs of a neighbouring beach are observed.

British Dictionary definitions for echini


/ (ɪˈkaɪnəs) /

noun plural -ni (-naɪ)

architect an ovolo moulding between the shaft and the abacus of a Doric column
any of the sea urchins of the genus Echinus, such as E. esculentus (edible sea urchin) of the Mediterranean

Word Origin for echinus

C14: from Latin, from Greek ekhinos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012